Partner Feature: It’s Yoga Brighton

We’re delighted that It’s Yoga Brighton are sponsoring Brighton Yoga Festival  for the second time – and also look forward to experiencing classes and workshops from some of their brilliant teachers over the festival weekend. We spoke to Co-Director and Facilitator, Lena Younes, to hear more about the It’s Yoga Brighton story…

Tell us a little more about It’s Yoga 
It’s Yoga has been around for 30 years on an international level. Founded by Larry Schultz (who was the private yoga instructor to the rock band the Grateful Dead!), the first It’s Yoga opened its doors in San Francisco in 1989. After Larry had been practicing Ashtanga for a while, his friends and family began to notice changes in him – he looked happier, healthier and just generally better. Whenever they would ask him why, he would reply: “It’s Yoga!”

And so he said to himself – if I ever open a studio, I’ll call it “It’s Yoga”, as I’m saying it all day long!

It’s Yoga is an international family – while each studio is independent, we do share the same sequences and the same Teacher Training Programme and support each other as a community worldwide.

It’s Yoga Brighton opened in 2017, moving into the former ‘Port Hall Tavern’ – now Milligan House – near Seven Dials and Preston Park. The building was built in the 1870s and, as a former pub, has a history of being a place for the local community to gather.

The purpose of It’s Yoga Brighton is to be a loving, spacious and nurturing environment within which people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds experience the magic of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and The Rocket, connecting to our breath and our authentic voice as we invite transformation and growth on and off the mat. In this way, we have a thriving, grounded and connected community supporting each other in abundance and bliss.

We want It’s Yoga to feel like home.

How did you get into teaching and then opening  your Yoga Studio?

When I walked into It’s Yoga Firenze (Florence) in Italy, I felt that feeling – that I had come home. The physical location and building was beautiful and both the community and the facilitators were loving, welcoming and held space for transformation in a way I hadn’t come across before.

During my initial teacher training, I was still recovering from chronic illness (Lyme Disease) and as such felt both weak and tight and unable to do a lot of the poses the way I thought they were ‘supposed’ to look like. It’s Yoga taught me to wake up my inner teacher and to trust that transformation comes with connection to breath and bandhas, dedication and love.

After facilitating classes in Tuscany and then Brighton for a few of years, it became clear that I wanted to recreate that same feeling here. And it’s been quite a trip!

What were your main aims when you began? And have these changed?

The main purpose – both of becoming a yoga facilitator and trainer and of opening It’s Yoga Brighton – was, and is, to share the love of the practice, which has changed my life, and bring these tools of transformation to more people.

It’s also to create community – this last aim is becoming more important recently as I feel that this is a sense of connection so many of us are looking for in a world that focuses so much on separation. We are one.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do?

Seeing the way people leave a class compared to when they walked in. Watching people completely transform and often make life-changing decisions during teacher trainings. And creating a sacred space for the community to gather – some of my favourite moments are when students stay after class and chat, connect and laugh together.

What have been the most important lessons you’ve learned?

That so much of this is about letting go and that yoga off the mat is much more challenging – and rewarding – than on the mat. Which doesn’t mean that asana practice isn’t magical, transformational and often a whole lot of fun!

I’ve also learned that my body is constantly changing, that poses – and thoughts and emotions – come and go. The most important thing is to learn how to breathe.

How long have you been involved with Brighton Yoga Festival? And what are you most excited about at this year’s event?

I was first involved with Brighton Yoga Festival in 2016, where I taught a couple of classes – It’s Yoga Brighton then sponsored an area at the 2017 festival just before we opened. We had a break last year but are excited to be back! We’re all very much looking forward to bringing The Rocket and our other classes to more people, to soaking up the atmosphere of 3,000 of us or more getting together to practice and share what we’re all passionate about, to making new connections and to having a great time!

It's Yoga BrightonWhat does the festival’s theme “yoga for everyone” mean to you?

We often have people asking if it’s okay for them to come to classes – ‘I’m not flexible enough’ or ‘I can’t do ___’ are phrases we hear all the time.

An important part of the It’s Yoga philosophy – which really resonates with me – is that all classes are open to all levels and that all the benefits of a pose are in all the modifications / variations. It doesn’t matter what you can or can’t do, how old you are or what shape your body has. We teach to the students in front of us – there is always a variation that works – and encourage everyone to take a break whenever their bodies are asking for one.

A great example – and inspiration! – for me is Michèle, who runs It’s Yoga in Florence. She lost her leg in a tragic accident coming up to four years ago and thought she would never be able to walk again, let alone have a physical asana practice. And yet, when we last practiced together in Mexico in February, there she was – in a handstand, in the middle of the room – flying and breathing, with the rest of us cheering her on!

You’ve got time – practice and all is coming… Anyone can get onto a mat and breathe – whether you’re in a child’s pose or in a handstand, you’re taking that time and space for yourself and committing to making a change in some way, which is a wonderful gift to yourself.

What’s next for It’s Yoga?It's Yoga Brighton

We’re in the process of making some small changes to the space – adding a small room for therapies and one to one sessions – and expanding our class schedule.

We’re also looking to put more energy into our teacher training programme, with two 200hr Trainings planned for this year – an intensive starting in August and an 8 month weekend-only training beginning in September – as well as now running the first two modules of our 300hr Programme back to back this autumn for those coming from a different tradition.

Our other aim is to put more emphasis on our community coming together – we’ll be introducing a monthly Saturday brunch after yoga, cacao ceremonies and one day retreats!

How can we find out more about you?

You can visit (new website coming soon!), give me a call, email us at or drop by before or after one of our classes.

Tell us a secret

It’s not about the poses – and you’re powerful beyond measure.